Heart-Wrenchingly Powerful, Beautifully Written, Wonderful Acting. Amy Jo Johnson's work delivers a masterclass in how to tackle a tough and sensitive subject. This film is deeply moving and also very thought provoking. Be prepared to have a box of tissues to hand but also to be pleasantly surprised at the tone of this seemingly otherwise dark movie, which punctures the gloominess of the subject at the centre of the story, with bright and clever dialogue that will make you smile in the right places. Oh boy do you need those moments in this story. Be in no doubt that this is not a story with a traditional happy ending which deep down part of me would have loved to have seen, but I fully understand why the film concludes in the way that it has, with Writer and Director choosing instead to travel down a road of truthful gritty realism that is refreshing if unsettlingly harrowing. Despite the melancholy mood that dominates, there are many moments of comedy and touching scenes that are perfectly weighted without detracting from the ability of the story to sensitively address what I am sure is such a serious subject that will touch a nerve so close to home for some of the audience. So be aware, as most TV shows will say, viewers will find some of the scenes distressing. The story itself centres around the relationship between a mother (Tammy) and her daughter (Catherine). The effects of what must be decades of alcohol dependency together with tobacco addiction are alarmingly laid bare and the sense of torment evident in both Tammy and Cathrine is powerfully raw. Just as you think things can't get any worse for them, the cruel hand that has been dealt to Tammy and Catherine takes a darker twist when Tammy is diagnosed with terminal cancer and is given six to ten months to live. You would have to have the brain of a Dalek and the cold heart of a Cyberman to not be deeply moved by their respective predicaments. Despite all of Tammy's self-destructive tendencies that push paternal mother-daughter bonds to beyond the limit, Catherine clearly feels compelled to try and save Tammy from a most terrible demise. Somewhere deep inside that withered shell of the broken woman Tammy has become, Cathy is desperate to find the sort of mother that every child needs or craves. The writer of the story has chosen a subject that many more experienced Directors might choose to shy away from. Amy Jo Johnson is brave to dive in at the deep end so early in her directing career and that is to be admired. The strength of the narrative is anchored by performances from a cast whom, in my opinion are a dream team for this kind of film. The chemistry between the actors and the characters they portray is delightful and makes for compelling viewing. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and I can't wait to see what this rising star of a Director has in store for her next project.
Tammy's Always Dying
Tammy's Always Dying
On the 29th of every month, when the welfare runs out, Catherine talks her alcoholic mother off of the same bridge. Literally. Catherine, a connoisseur of bad decisions, dreams of being ...
May 11, 2020